As way of ensuring that students in schools have better knowledge to understand sex related issues, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has trained 221 secondary school teachers, 240 parents teacher associations in Malawi to teach comprehensive sex education in public schools.
Unesco says age-appropriate sex education is an important public right in the global response to HIV.
This is why Unesco has come in to help Malawi that from next academic year students will be learning Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE).
“Schools are a venue for implementing well-designed CSE and that provides knowledge and skills essential for young people to practice safe behaviours,” Unesco Regional HIV and Health Education Adviser, Patricia Machawira, said.
Machawira said sex –education is an “important component” of a student’s education.
The sex-education curriculum would integrate information about contraception, how to prevent sex-transmitted diseases, the value of abstinence and how to make smart sexual health decisions in response to HIV.
Unesco Malawi Programme Officer, Jessie Kazembe Chisala, said the Malawi secondary school curriculum assessment review started in 2013 and was completed in 2014.
The process was consultative where a large number of stakeholders, including parents and guardians were consulted,” Said Chisala.
“During the review, all subjects, including life skills education were reviewed. For life skills education, the curriculum was reviewed to include a new core subject of sex and sexuality and the new curriculum will be implemented from September 2015,” she said.
Young people often receive conflicting and inaccurate information about sex. This can lead to badly informed decisions about how, when or with whom to have sex and how to protect them against HIV.
AIDS-related illness is still the leading cause of death among adolescents, and adolescent girls and young women are especially vulnerable to new HIV infections.
Many young people are receiving inadequate preparation, which leaves them vulnerable to coercion, abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.